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About Margaret

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  1. Moving the conversation re: cultural norms here.


    They're not so much Californian norms as norms throughout most of the US - I've just seemed to have more conversations about it with Californians recently. (It's almost like California is a massive state with a disproportionate amount of the population and I'm geographically pretty close to it right now or something. :P)

    So one of the major things (which I've really only started to realize in the past couple years :ninja:) is that interrupting doesn't necessarily mean the same thing or work the same way in New York - it just came up because a friend of mine was voicing irritation with an interview that was conducted with Hillary Clinton where the interviewer seemed to interrupt her a few times.

    And basically, cross-talk/interrupting isn't necessarily intended (or generally taken!) as disrespect or silencing - high involvement can be a way of showing that you're engaged in the conversation. Stories don't generally follow a linear pattern of one person speaking and then another person speaking, without much overlap - people interject questions, comments, and even stories of their own as a way of interacting with the other person and the subject(s) of conversation. There are issues when the back and forth doesn't exist, or when the person is being nasty or taking advantage of power dynamics to actively intimidate someone, but simply interrupting isn't generally considered rude on its own.

    1. abhorsen.
    2. Margaret


      George Bush really didn't seem too pleased when he was interviewed by an Irish reporter and she interrupted him.

      Interrupting interviewees in certain circumstances, particularly politicians, is pretty much seen as part of a reporter's job here. It is their job to keep the interviewee on topic and ensure they answer the questions the viewers want answered and in the case of politicians, that the electorate want answered. If interviewers didn't interrupt politicians, it seems like all the electorate would get to hear is spin.

  2. "The Town I Loved So Well " is a very beautiful song, I've listened to The Dubliners' song before. Phil Coulter's original was sung along with a piano, right? Very beautiful. 

    1. Margaret


      Yes, it is a beautiful song. The Dubliners are good too. They're my dad's favourite band.

    2. StarFeather
  3. Music

    The songs I like are unlikely to be familiar to most people here, as they are all Irish and many speak of events or issues that are pretty specific to Ireland. My absolute favourite song is "The Town I Loved So Well," by Phil Coulter, which is about Derry during the Troubles. It begins as a man thinking back on the town he grew up in, where he played ball, laughed, got his first job and met his wife. It sounds like any Irish emigration song, of which we have many, but then talks about when he returned to the town and found it basically destroyed by terrorism and war. Yes, Irish songs tend to be sad. Two songs I came across recently that I liked are "Death of the Bear" and "Irish Citizen Army," - an interesting contrast now that I think of it. The first is an exception to the rule of being about specifically Irish realities as it is about the fall of the Soviet Union and basically accuses the Communist leadership of the Soviet Union of selling out the people who supported them out of a belief in equality. "Irish Citizen Army," on the other hand, commemorates the involvement of the Irish Citizen's Army, a force of trade unionists, in the 1916 Rising and speaks of economic inequality. I actually didn't like "Irish Citizen Army" that much when I first heard it, but after playing it a second or third time, it began to grow on me. I couldn't possibly list all the songs I like. There are dozens, if not hundreds. I will mention one more, just for the sake of contrast. "Miracle at Knock" is about the building of Knock Airport. Knock is an Irish place of pilgrimage, something like Lourdes or Fatima, though less well know and a priest basically decided it needed an airport and held a raffle to raise the funds. The song is amusing, as is the event, but the fact remains that the airport exists and planes fly in and out of it.
  4. A task begun

    Those are lovely dresses and so much cheaper than the standard wedding dress. Sorry to hear about your struggle with an eating disorder. And I hope your wedding day is one of the best of your life and that you and your future husband are very happy together.
  5. Students & Teachers in HP

    Yes, I definitely agree with you that that is interesting. Now that I think of it, I subbed once in a boarding school and there were clearly closer relationships between teachers and students than would be in an ordinary school. I was only there a week but if another teacher came into my classroom to give a message, students would greet them in a friendly, rather than formal manner and there was occasional joking, like one day a first year class (think Hogwarts 2nd years) were being really annoying and one of the teachers was joking with one of the older kids about how "your brother was driving me crazy today." And most of the teachers there didn't even live in the school - there were three or four who did. Add in the fact that the wizarding world is pretty tiny and we know a lot of the teachers know family members of students (Remus being friends with Harry's father, Snape fancying Harry's mother and attending school with both his parents, Snape's conflicted relationship with the Malfoys, Neville's grandmother and McGonagall) and you have a really interesting mix. The teachers aren't just teachers but also almost parental or at least aunt/uncle/grandparent/older sibling figures. You should definitely create a challenge about this. I would probably write a story for it if you did. I have actually planned teacher-student relationships to play a big part in year 6 of my next gen series, but since I'm stuck at the beginning of year 3, whether or not I'll ever even write that is questionable. And a lot of the characters are OCs anyway.
  6. Margaret.

    Gryffin_Duck's has a series about Albus's years at Hogwarts. She is now on the 7th year and the series is just amazing. In my opinion, it gets better from the third year onwards. She has created an entire 'verse, with new developments at Hogwarts, but not too many, changes to the Ministry and information about other wizarding countries. This is the first story in the series: Albus Potter and the Secrets Within (15+). LeoKitty is an amazing author whose stories deserve more attention. Her stories can be found here: LeoKitty. (12+ for main page; stories vary).
  7. Today is the day Albus starts Hogwarts.

  8. Where Does Canon Stop?

    I think this is why I waver on whether or not to consider it completely canon. Generally, I would say that anything written by the author as part of the series, is canon, but somehow even without reading it, I sort of get the impression this is more speculative. Obviously, none of us can know what is in JK Rowling's head and she may well have meant it to be set in stone, but it does seem slightly jarring.
  9. Where Does Canon Stop?

    To me, the books are canon. The movies are a separate canon (and I must admit it does irritate me a little when I read a story which I have assumed is book canon and you have Seamus blowing things up or the students wearing ties as part of their uniform instead of robes or something, but that's just that my preference is for book canon). I do not consider the interviews canon. I feel canon is what is on the page, not what is in the author's head. Now, where I don't have any reason not to, I do use information from the interviews in my stories - for example the next generation characters that don't appear in the epilogue - but I don't feel the need to use them if they contradict what I want/need to happen, especially if they are minor details. For example, in my stories, McGonagall doesn't retire until after Albus's 5th year. I haven't read Cursed Child and what I have heard about it doesn't grab me at all. I guess it is canon, but since I believe there are some things that don't quite fit with the other books, I'm not really sure to what degree. Mind you, I could be wrong about that. Cursed Child is something I'm iffy about because J.K. Rowling did write it, it is on the page, but somehow what I've heard about it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the story. I don't think it makes sense to only consider what you like about the books canon. I think when you get into things like refusing to believe Sirius died, then you are getting into fanon. And there is nothing wrong with that either.
  10. Yes, I'd try and fix the plot hole whereby if James or Lily acted as Secret Keeper themselves, they would both have made it practically impossible for Voldemort to find them and avoided putting two close friends who they believed to be innocent (Sirius and Peter) in danger for no good reason. I think I would make a reason why people could not act as their own Secret Keepers and change the scenes later on when people like Arthur did because as it stands, they just deliberately put themselves, Harry, Sirius and Peter at risk just...for fun?
  11. Reviewing Viktor Krum stories - should I?

    Yikes, this is a hard one. I have some similar problems with stories that include Seamus, but since JK Rowling hasn't really messed up his portrayal, I don't have the canon versus reality conundrum. I would like feedback on how to portray Bulgarian characters if I was writing them. I would definitely prefer to portray a culture accurately. However, I do think it might be a bit off-putting if say two-thirds of the review was a list of things I got wrong about the culture. When I come across really inaccurate Irish characters, I tend to choose just a few things to point out. If there are more than about three or four glaring inaccuracies, I generally just point out that many and leave the rest. I also try to phrase certain things as if they were simply comments rather than corrections. Like "hmm, that seems an old-fashioned name for somebody born in the 1970s. Were they named after a grandparent?" (not a great example as people do choose uncommon names for their children so I wouldn't actually comment on that, but that sort of phraseology). Maybe you could just point out the most glaring issues and then add a comment at the end of the review about being Bulgarian and that the writer could contact you if they have any questions. If you are willing to do that, of course.
  12. Umbridge would not exist or actually have some motivation to her behaviour. Yes, sadists exist but they don't usually openly abuse students when their boss is known to be extremely sensitive to public opinion. Totally agree with Slytherin having a greater variety of students in it. I'd also show some more students avoiding the battle at the end, without being demonised for it. It seemed like the only ones that didn't want to fight were those that were somewhat sympathetic to the Death Eaters. In reality, I would think MOST people would want to get out of there as soon as possible. I'd have made Lily and James about 10 years older at the time of their death. Their age makes very little sense. By the age of 20, they were married, had a child, had defied Voldemort three times, had all four of their parents die (despite the fact that both seemed to have parents throughout their childhood, so at least two of the four died in the space of two or three years), Lily's sister, who is only one year older than her also married and had a child and her husband is already a company director. Vernon even comments derisively about "young people" at the beginning of Philosopher's Stone, when his wife is apparently only 22.
  13. Cormoran Strike

    Totally in agreement with you, Kaitlin. I read it quite a while ago, and only once, which is VERY unusual for me and tells you all you need to know, so I don't fully remember, but as far as I can remember, it also gave limited opportunity to the reader to figure out who the villain was. The suspects were quite limited and I don't think we really got to know them very well, though I could be mistaken about the latter as it is a long time since I read it. I loved The Silkworm. It was so intricate. This is probably a personal thing but I also don't really like the way it seems to be headed towards a Strike/Robin romance. Yeah, Matthew is horrible but even that seems a bit forced as if he only exists as a way of getting her together with Strike. And I feel the "female sidekick who gets together with the hero" is a bit cliched.
  14. Brax's OF

    That sounds fascinating - what sort of interaction are you thinking? Something like a short affair or even flirtation with a celebrity or politician or something or something more like a crime or a tragedy? Is it going to be more humorous or more traumatic? I could see it going either way
  15. endnotes. by sapphicsunrise

    That has some coincidental similarities with my (paused) next gen. series. Well, just your villains. Mine are basically members of Death Eater families who have lost their standing in society and are trying to regain it by opposing the liberalisation of the wizarding world - werewolf rights, code of house elf rights and so on - and are stirring up hatred of groups like werewolves in order to convince people they are the only ones who can be relied on "to say what everybody is thinking." Your story sounds really interesting and I love the idea of Rose founding a magical university. Exactly when I'll get around to reading a whole 'verse, I don't know, especially as the next month is marking time, but hopefully, I will get to it at some point. Teaching, postcolonialism and wizarding politics - sounds like my sort of thing.